I noticed an increasing area of interest in Cyber Security with the students at the school. Given that this is an emerging area of industry need, I started a Cyber Security & Coding Club at the school. The club meets weekly and offers students an opportunity to develop Cyber Security and coding skills. I felt a need for the students to get further exposure to the opportunities in this area and to have contact with people who were progressing towards working in this industry.
I fostered a relationship with the Edith Cowan University School of Science. As a result, students in Years 7-10 from our Cyber Security Club were invited to an excursion at the Edith Cowan University campus in Joondalup. Students were shown around the special Incident Response rooms where ECU runs training sessions for small businesses about Cyber Security and also run a real life business which provides Cyber Security services to local small businesses.
In small groups, students were given a tour of the ECU Security room where they observed various real life security protocols being put into practice.
Students then participated in a series of Capture the Flag challenges in the afternoon and had an opportunity to meet and ask questions of various ECU students who are studying Cyber Security.
As a result of running this club and this excursion, I was able to get to know some of my students a lot better. Some of the students attending the club and the excursion have various diagnoses and many find social interaction a challenge. This club has been so valuable for them to have a place within the school where they can fit in.
By getting to know these students better, it has then enabled me to work with these students more effectively in class. For example, I have identified a number of students for whom the class work was not challenging enough and was able to design more appropriate learning experiences for them.
The excursion was also professional development for me in allowing me to see industry standard cyber security practices in action and also helping me to gain new resources and strategies to use in the classroom. The club allows me to test out new resources with select students before using them on a full class.
Finally, the excursion has helped me to build a professional network with ECU which has also linked me with other teachers. This network has allowed me to reach out for support when I have had challenges with teaching the curriculum.